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Lost on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Coming December 11: Season 3 (Preorder)

"Lost" The Complete First Season DVD Review

Buy Lost: The Complete First Season from Amazon.com Lost: Season One (2004-05)
Show & DVD Details

Creators: J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, Damon Lindelof / Executive Producers: J.J. Abrams, Jack Bender, Bryan Burk, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof

Regular Directors: J.J. Abrams, Jack Bender, Tucker Gates

Regular Cast: Naveen Andrews (Sayid Jarrah), Emilie de Ravin (Claire Littleton), Matthew Fox (Dr. Jack Sheppard), Jorge Garcia (Hugo "Hurley" Reyes), Maggie Grace (Shannon Rutherford), Josh Holloway (James "Sawyer" Ford), Malcolm David Kelley (Walt Lloyd), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin-Soo Kwon), Yunjin Kim (Sun-Soo Kwon), Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie Pace), Terry O'Quinn (John Locke), Harold Perrineau (Michael Dawson), Ian Somerhalder (Boone Carlisle)

Recurring Characters: Mira Furlan (Danielle Rousseau), Fredric Lehne (Marshal), Madison (Vincent), William Mapother (Ethan Rom), John Terry (Dr. Christian Sheppard), Dustin Watchman (Scott Jackson)

Running Time: 1068 Minutes (24 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
Season 1 Airdates: September 22, 2004 - May 25, 2005
Seven single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Ten-sided fold-out Digipak with clear slipcover

Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-4
Page 2: Discs 5-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

By Lindsay Mayer

I'll admit up front that, short of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", I'm no fan of television. This works against me when my computer is located in the "living room" area of the basement and my older sister often sits down to lose herself in some seedy forensic docudrama or the latest pap from broadcast on her TV that's literally a few feet from me. However, in the summer of 2004, I was intrigued by the widespread and aggressive ad campaign that Buena Vista had put out for its new sci-fi/drama series, “Lost” - to premiere on ABC in late September. Created by hot commodity writer J.J. Abrams (the man behind the hit show "Alias"), the execs most certainly hoped this would be the next big thing. On the other side of the spectrum, the plebeian masses were stirring, as well. The series was already getting a good deal of attention from nerdy film fans of the fantastic kind due to the involvement of Lord of the Rings co-star Dominic Monaghan as one of the regular cast members;
he had previously achieved world renown for his role of the hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck (a.k.a. Merry) in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy. So obviously, this TV show was no small potatoes - it had a great crew, a stellar cast, a mysterious premise with a sci-fi flavor, and hordes of Ringer fangirls to back it up. What more could you want... music?

A couple of months before its television debut, the first part of the series’ pilot episode was screened at the San Diego Comic-Con, to an incredibly warm reception. The show's good word-of-mouth most likely fanned the flames of anticipation for its premiere. And premiere it did - on September 22nd, 2004. It was no surprise why the pilot episode (the first half, anyway) had been such a big hit. The show's creative powers knew exactly how to open the series with a bang; as the premise is based on four dozen survivors of a plane crash, you want to chronicle their ordeal from the very beginning, right? So what plays out in the first few minutes is just that - dazed passengers running and wandering frantically among a vast beach full of debris and flaming, gasping jet liner parts. The sense of confusion, and even terror, is well-played and draws you inexorably into the action, utilizing clever camera tricks, scene composition, and sound design. The entire opening of the series is so riveting and well-produced, it looks more on the level of a big-budgeted mainstream film. Needless to say, I’ve been hooked since day one.

The main title - and overall sequence - for "LOST." Quest for fire?  Well, more like quest for sticks that go boom.

“Lost” became an instant hit, and the series has since rewarded its faithful audience with engaging plotlines, intriguing and realistic characters, and convoluted twists which spark endless speculation. The show focuses on 14 of the original 48 survivors, with the rest of the group being made up of extras and a few recurring characters. The format of each episode focuses on the past of one of the 14 characters (in a "flashback" form), whilst simultaneously depicting events in the "present" time of the island. But of course, the island is no mere setting. The island is the omnipresent 15th character, delivering surprises and danger for the survivors at every turn. By all means, it appears to be a rather sizeable South Pacific tropical paradise, but as the survivors quickly find out, this island is far from normal. Though it feeds its inhabitants, sometimes heals or aids those in need, and keeps its stranded victims mysteriously well-groomed and ruggedly handsome at all times, it also contains terrifying danger and befuddling mysteries. I'd be willing to bet that most other South Pacific islands don't have polar bears, anachronistic artifacts, or large obscure beasts that sound like robotic dinosaurs roaming the inland forests and feeding on the deepest fears of their victims. But when the hope of rescue vanishes quickly, the survivors must learn how to sustain themselves within this supernatural atmosphere.

Social roles and reputations are established among the core fourteen, and several character staples are present, though somehow given a more believable, less-caricatured spin. The pseudo-leader feigning bravery to compensate for his own inner demons, the amicable one with a criminal past, the seemingly uncaring jerk with a tragic history, the kid with strange powers and his stubborn father, the washed-up musician, or the wise intuitive elder who somehow understands the behavior of the island and goes with the flow of its will. Just a few examples, although Abrams and his creative team are, by and large, successful in making these character templates not seem derivative. Their personable behavior only makes you more curious to witness their outcome on this lost, and increasingly otherworldly, island.

Jack hears a sound.  Run, Jack, run! Main female character Kate seems to have a never-ending supply of form-fitting shirts at her disposal.

Originally, the concept for this series was formed and hammered out in just a scant few months before its premiere. Its production was incredibly fast; for example, only 3 weeks were allowed to cast nearly 2 dozen people for primary, long term, and recurring roles. By the time the series premiered, the season had only a slim order of 13 episodes for its first season. After the first four episodes garnered enormously high ratings, however,
approval was given out to produce another 9 episodes, making 22 total. Filmed during the airing of the other 13, “Lost” was given a very padded out schedule in order to make up for the wait time of the latter 9; the show even went on hiatus for nearly a month in December of 2004. Despite its slightly clumsy beginnings, however, the show continued to pull in high ratings from enraptured audiences and received much critical acclaim for its high-quality storytelling, culminating with both Golden Globe and Emmy awards for Best Drama Series, in addition to several other accolades, nominations, and wins.

Constantly challenging, always engaging, “Lost” is an addictive puzzle of a series, and richly rewards the astute adult audience it’s aimed at. Though its high ratings and continual popularity could possibly subject it to overexposure, scheduling abuse, or creative burnout on the part of the writers (wherein they ask more questions than they can satisfactorily answer), the potential for this series is still incredible, and I for one am hoping for many more labyrinthine years to come!

A star () denotes ten favorite episodes from the season.

The questing foursome discuss the best way to cross a questionable rope bridge they've encountered. Charlie and Rose discuss starting a NEW "Charlie Rose" talk show together once they get off the island...


1. Pilot - Part 1t (42:13) (Originally aired September 22, 2004)
Forty-eight survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 have crash-landed on a desert island somewhere in the South Pacific on their way from Sydney to Los Angeles. Neurological surgeon Dr. Jack Sheppard (Matthew Fox) is quickly established as the series’ main male protagonist as he frantically assists as many of the wounded as he can manage.
Meanwhile, many of the other character are introduced with shrewd editing and snippets of dialogue. The immediate focus is damage control and short-term planning, and Jack leads a small, daring group inland to search for the plane’s transceiver in the thick of a ominous rain forest. Any relief arriving in the form of the plane’s grisly cockpit and a still-living pilot is very swiftly dashed by a mysterious, killer presence that lurks within the trees.

2. Pilot - Part 1 (40:17) (Originally aired September 29, 2004)
Tension breaks out among the survivors as hopes of rescue quickly fade. Though successful in retrieving the transceiver, Jack and Kate (Evangeline Lilly), the level-headed main female protagonist, cannot turn it on nor get a signal. Iraqi survivor Sayid (Naveen Andrews), who was a military communications officer, offers to fix the device, and succeeds in doing so. However, the group must venture inland in an attempt to find a signal with which to send for help. On their journey, they encounter and kill one of the most baffling creatures to be on a tropical island - a polar bear. Clearly there is more to this island than what meets the eye. Especially when the signal party, after successfully picking up a signal, hears a terrifying looped message over the transceiver…

3. Tabula Rasa (43:27) (Originally aired October 6, 2004)
While the shaken signal party returns from the high ground, Jack works furiously to save a survivor’s life - a badly injured man with a large piece of shrapnel buried in his abdomen. This Kate-centric episode focuses on a piece of her shady past, especially after the wounded man turns out to a federal marshal carrying a mugshot and several personal affects of hers.

4. Walkabout (42:42) (Originally aired October 13, 2004)
Problems continue to plague the survivors as they are subjected to a rude awakening one night by a pack of wild boars invading the beach site, likely attracted to the bodies of the dead travelers rotting inside the wreckage. Grappling with the unpleasant reality of the situation, it is ultimately decided that the corpses should be burned. Meanwhile, food is rapidly becoming scarce, and the grizzled, logical John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), well-practiced in survival tactics, proposes to make a hunting party to go after the boars. An ambiguous character, this episode is focused on Locke, and its finale offers one of the most shocking and intriguing revelations about the character pre- and post-plane crash.

Sawyer - the typical pretty-boy bad guy. Michael, Jack, Jin and others witness some strange goings-on down the beach.


5. White Rabbit (42:30) (Originally aired October 20, 2004)
After a disastrous rescue attempt of a survivor caught in a riptide, a stressed-out Jack begins to see “hallucinations” of a man in a suit, apparently trying to lead him somewhere. This Jack-centric episode gives a bit of history and insight into the character’s strong desire to help others - from his childhood experience with bullies to his intense regret over the drowned victim. The good doctor has had trouble with his father, too - which explains why he was in Australia and just who that apparition is - who eventually guides him to fresh water and shelter on the island.

6. House of the Rising Sun (42:44) (Originally aired October 27, 2004)
The Korean couple Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), unable to communicate with the rest of the survivors, have become somewhat isolated and self-sufficient since the crash. In this Sun-dominated episode, Jin causes trouble as he suddenly attacks Michael (Harold Perrineau), a black man who believes that race relations, in addition to language barriers, have something to do with the animosity. When Sun confides in him privately, in perfect English, that Jin became incensed over a personal item - a gold watch Michael found - he irately frees the imprisoned Jin and warns him to stay away from he and his son Walt (Malcolm David Kelley). Meanwhile, the survivors become divided over moving to the stability (and water) of the inland caves, or staying out on the beach to wait for help.

7. The Moth (43:14) (Originally aired November 3, 2004)
Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), formerly part of one-hit wonder music group Drive Shaft with his older brother, is becoming increasingly restless as the days pass. Severely and secretly addicted to heroin, he’s facing the impending reality of a painful detox and withdrawal process. This Charlie-tailored episode shows Drive Shaft’s rise to fame and inevitable corruption by drugs, though Charlie becomes much more hopelessly addicted than his brother. Locke is the only other survivor who knows of Charlie’s struggle, and had appropriated Charlie’s remaining supply to give him the choice of quitting. Charlie’s allowed to ask thrice, but if he can control himself before the third query, he’s taken a huge step. When Jack is caught in a collapse of rocks at the caves, Charlie - yearning to prove himself - volunteers to rescue the man. After all his travails, a third query tests whether Charlie has kicked the habit by choice, once and for all...

8. Confidence Man (43:10) (Originally aired November 10, 2004)
When spoiled, vapid blonde Shannon (Maggie Grace) suffers an attack of asthma, her step-brother Boone (Ian Somerdale) goes to Jack for help, suspecting that the shameless opportunist Sawyer (Josh Holloway) has Boone’s luggage with the inhaler refills. Sawyer refuses to hand over the goods, as he has quickly settled into a jackal-like niche amongst the survivors; hoarding away scavenged valuables and bartering them off. This episode reveals Sawyer’s con man past, and the surprisingly tragic reasons why he became the way he is. When Sawyer continues to show no compassion for Shannon’s suffering, Jack and Sayid are reduced to physically torturing him, only to reveal ... that he does not have the inhalers.

Sun and Charlie try to convince Claire to let someone else watch the baby so she can rest. Locke and Jack attempt to track their way through the maze of forest trails.


9. Solitary (43:08) (Originally aired November 17, 2004)
Profoundly disturbed by how low he went with Sawyer, Sayid goes off alone to map the borders of the island, and stumbles across a long cable, which he follows into the forest. To his misfortune, it leads straight into a booby trap - but set by whom? The spotlight is on Sayid this time around, as the episode follows the ex-soldier’s harsh past in the Iraqi Republican Guard, as well as a long lost love.

10. Raised by Another (42:45) (Originally aired December 1, 2004)
The pregnant young Australian Claire (Emilie de Ravin) is plagued with several nights of terrifying nightmares that somebody is trying to harm her baby. Jack grows concerned that her high levels of anxiety may trigger a premature delivery. But there may be something more to Claire’s child, as her portentous flashbacks in this episode alludes. Meanwhile, due to the supposed attacks Claire believes she’s suffering, the robust and mouthy Hurley (Jorge Garcia) takes a census using the plane’s manifest in order to take stats on all known survivors and uncovers an unsettling discrepancy...

11. All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues (42:08) (Originally aired December 8, 2004)
Discovering that the suspicious Ethan Rom (William Mapother) was not on the plane with the other survivors, Jack and Locke fear the worst and go searching for Claire and Charlie, who was accompanying her. As Jack plows ahead recklessly in a frantic search, the episode begins another flashback focus on the character, depicting, as the title implies, Jack’s very uneasy personal and professional relationship with his father, who is the chief neurological surgeon in the hospital Jack works at. Locke and Boone, in a separate search radius, instead stumble upon something incredibly unusual. When Jack and Kate catch up with Ethan’s trail, they make a horrible find...

12. Whatever The Case May Be (43:12) (Originally aired January 5, 2005)
When Kate and Sawyer happen upon a highly secured Halliburton suitcase, Kate’s eagerness to keep the find to herself intrigues Sawyer, who refuses to hand it over. We learn why the case means so much to Kate as this episode focuses on more of the character’s illicit and tragic past. Meanwhile, other subplots feature Locke and Boone, continuing on a secret task to uncover a large, metallic “hatch” they’ve found in the forest; and Sayid’s growing relationship with Shannon as her rudimentary French skills help him decipher maps that he took when he escaped from his captor in Solitary.

Charlie and Claire share a cuppa together. Sayid and Shannon work together to try to decipher a found map of the island.


13. Hearts and Minds (43:17) (Originally aired January 12, 2005)
Boone becomes increasingly protective of Shannon as Sayid becomes more familiar with her. His unusual closeness to his sister is explained in Boone-centered flashbacks in this episode, revealing the
pair as step-siblings from childhood. When Boone wants to tell Shannon of the secret hatch project, Locke knocks him out, then ties him up and surreptitiously drugs him. Little to his knowledge, Boone’s inner demons are tested and purged when the island’s “monster” arrives and threatens Shannon’s life.

14. Special (43:15) (Originally aired January 19, 2005)
Michael, in a frantic search for his son Walt, finds him practicing knife-throwing with Locke and Boone. When he berates Locke for letting the boy play with knives, Locke informs him that Walt is no ordinary 10-year-old. We see why Michael is so over-protective in this episode focusing on his troubled past, as Walt was taken with his mother when the two separated, and on the island Michael is little more than a new father, in many regards. With Walt’s mother dead, Michael now has sole responsibility for this stranger of a child, and the two have a very uneasy relationship. In an exasperated move for some form of responsibility, Michael - a construction worker by trade - initiates the assembly of a large raft in an attempt to depart for help.

15. Homecoming (41:36) (Originally aired February 9, 2005)
A confused and traumatized Claire has made a stumbling escape from her captor, but does not remember anything that’s happened to her, nor does she recognize any of the other survivors. Charlie makes an attempt to get close to her and protect her, due in part to his guilt that he could not save her the first time. This is not the first time he has felt this way, as this Charlie-centric episode shows us. In his bleak years post-Drive Shaft addict years, Charlie runs several scams to feed his habit. But when a genuine attempt to straighten out and provide for someone goes wrong, Charlie is left off worse than before. Meanwhile, Ethan Rom is terrorizing the survivors by killing one person a day until Claire is returned to him. A trap to capture Ethan is successful, but all hopes of interrogation are lost when Charlie arrives in a vengeful rage.

16. Outlaws (43:16) (Originally aired February 16, 2005)
Sawyer is hounded by an obnoxious boar who keeps raiding his camp at night. As he (and Kate, whom he reluctantly lets tail along), go off in search of the creature, they unintentionally develop a camaraderie - learning that they have more in common than initially thought. As Sawyer puts it himself, “I never cared about carte blanche, ’cause I just wanted to spend some time with the only other person on this island that just don’t belong.” We discover even more tragedies in Sawyer’s past, and some eerie connections between the survivors begin to surface, as well as the intriguing series theme of “it will come back around.”

Continue to Page 2 >>

Buy Lost: Season 1 from Amazon.com

Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-4
Page 2: Discs 5-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Lost on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Coming December 11: Season 3 (Preorder)

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Reviewed January 30, 2006.

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